Document Detail

Old and new anticoagulants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21311820     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Vitamin-K-antagonists (VKA) and heparins have been complementary anticoagulants for prevention and treatment of thrombosis for almost 70 years. In contrast to heparins, VKA have not been modified pharmacologically, however treatment surveillance has improved by introducing INR and self-monitoring/management. Disclosure of the molecular basis of interaction with VKORC1, the target enzyme of VKA, has helped to better understand coumarin sensitivity and resistance. New oral anticoagulants have now been approved and stimulated expectations in patients and physicians to get rid of the burdening frequent controls of VKA without loss of efficacy and safety. This review will summarize the development and profile of the new substances. Main difference compared to VKA is their direct mode of action against one clotting factor which is factor IIa in dabigatran and factor Xa in rivaroxaban and other "xabanes" currently under intensive investigation. Half lifes of the new anticoagulants are much shorter than that of the mainly used coumarins (phenprocoumon, warfarin), making "anticoagulation bridging" unnecessary before surgery. Therapeutic width of direct thrombin inhibitors and factor Xa inhibitors is broader and they are given at fixed doses. Clinical studies in thromboprophylaxis, thromboembolism and atrial fibrillation indicate at least non-inferiority or even superior efficacy compared with enoxaparin and VKA at comparable safety outcomes. Limitations of the new substances may arise from gastrointestinal side effects, mode of metabolism and route of elimination. Specific antidots are not available for none of them. Undoubtedly, the new oral anticoagulants are very promising. But, although thousands of study patients already have been treated, there are questions to be answered such as treatment adherence in absence of monitoring, safety and efficacy in risk patients, dosage adjustment and interactions with other drugs, before conclusions can be drawn towards their potential to replace VKA.
U Harbrecht
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Hämostaseologie     Volume:  31     ISSN:  0720-9355     ISO Abbreviation:  Hamostaseologie     Publication Date:  2011 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8204531     Medline TA:  Hamostaseologie     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  21-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Ursula Harbrecht, MD, Institute of Experimental Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany, Tel. +49/(0)228/287 67 28, Fax +49/(0)228/287 60 87, E-mail:
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